How to Store Wine

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007 at 12:00 am

storing wineApart from enjoying the wine right from the glass, many people like the idea of having an extensive collection of different wines coming form different vintages.

Avid collectors of such wines should have a pretty good idea on how to store their valuable wines in order for them to be able to appreciate their own collection more. And storing wines is not an easy matter. It requires a thorough knowledge of the different factors that make up the proper storing of wines for long periods.

Most say that wines get better with age. But this is only true if the wines are being stored properly. Improperly storing wines may be enough to lessen their quality in terms of taste and richness. It would be easy for wines to become vinegar if not being stored the right way. Proper storing of wines has been an age old practice.

The Romans have first discovered that wines placed in tightly closed containers could be made to improve without ever going bad. Along with this discovery, the Romans were able to develop further how to properly store their wines that they were able to successfully keep some of their wines for as long as a hundred years. It is just too bad that some of what the Romans knew in wine storing disappeared along with the demise of their Empire.

But the history of wine making also gave way to the development of more effective storing practices that have allowed wine producers to store their wines longer and more effectively. The discovery of cork as well as the proper bottle design all have helped in making wine storage even more effective. Certain factors also affect the proper storage of wines. Here are just some of them:

Temperature

This is probably the most important factor in the proper storage of wines. Wines need to be stored at a certain temperature that should be maintained constantly. The optimal temperature considered for storing wines should be in the range of 10 to 12 degrees Centigrade. A constant maintained temperature at around 5 to 18 degrees may also be considered good enough.

The important thing here is that constant temperature should always be maintained, keeping fluctuations to an absolute minimum. It is the rapid changes in temperature that prove to help in the decrease in wine quality.

For one, rapid temperature changes would allow wines to go though premature aging. Rapid temperature changes would also allow the pressure inside the bottle to vary and might damage the airtightness of the cork and allow oxygen to seep in.

Humidity

It is also important to keep wines in a room with moderate humidity. The humidity allows the cork used on the wines to stay in good condition and prevent them from shrinking and lose some of their airtight storing qualities.

A room with a relative humidity of about 50- 80 percent is within the acceptable range but 70 percent constant humidity is what is recommended. Excessive humidity would not cause any harm to the wine itself but may instead damage the labels and other paper products that come with the wine bottles. What collectors should look into is on trying to prevent humidity from getting lower than the desired range.